Florida's Stand Your Ground Law

Isobel - posted on 03/19/2012 ( 33 moms have responded )

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Apparently in Florida you can shoot anybody who makes you slightly uncomfortable and you think they MIGHT come hurt you...what the HELL is wrong with these people?



(for those who don't know, a white man just shot a beautiful seventeen year old black KID who was walking home from the store holding a pack of skittles and an iced tea)



It's been a month and not only has the man not been arrested, they don't think he will be...WTF???



Gun laws, go

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Janice - posted on 04/13/2012

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Where is common sense? I'm okay with people owning guns and being able to defend themselves if needed. However, the Florida law goes too far. You should not be able to use deadly force if you think maybe someone is threatening.



As for Trayvon - who is to say he was not with-in HIS rights under the law to attack Zimmerman. Isnt a strange man approaching you with a gun enough of a threat for Trayvon to defend himself?



So if someone attacks you and you fight back but they win, its okay because they were defending themself against you?

Jennifer - posted on 04/12/2012

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I'm a little mixed on my feelings for gun control. I want the right to defend myself, with a gun if needed, but of the two violent attacks I've endured, I defended myself without a gun. In one, I had no gun availible, and the second(in my home, with a sleeping baby) I had to fight the guy off to get to my gun, and by that time, he was fleeing. I actually let my dog out of his crate before getting my gun, then put my gun down to get my dog off the guy so he could run away. BUT, I'm also well versed in use of force laws. Oklahoma does NOT have a stand your ground law. Many think our 'Make my day' law is the same, but it is not. A man in OKC was recently convicted of murder for killing a teen, who was armed, and came to rob his store. In Oklahoma, you are allowed to use deadly force, but it has to be a very real threat. Here, Zimmerman would have been in jail that night. I have rights to defend myself and any other PERSON. I can't shoot anyone in the back and I can't chase someone. The only fuzzy part of our law is when someone is entering your home. If you give warning, and they continue, you are ok to shoot (as the young mom did recently) because you have given warning. I think being able to chase someone down and shoot them over the heebie-jeebies is totally beyond stupid! My ex-husband gives me the creeps all the time- if I could have shot him it would have saved me a lot of time and money, but it would not be right!



As to the race issue and Trayvon being a saintly child- I don't know! Too many things were said and then taken back. I do know this kid should not have been shot, and I'd like to see Zimmerman at least stand trial.

[deleted account]

Unfortunately, we will never know the "whole truth" because Trayvon is dead and dead men can't tell their side of the story. You have no idea whether the shooter was assaulted or not. What we do know, without question, is that the victim was being followed by the shooter and the shooter pursued him after being told not to. To me, that sure sounds like the shooter was the aggressor in this situation. All that crap you just cited about the victim is irrelevant -- George Zimmerman didn't know any of that before his encounter with Trayvon. The only facts George ZImmerman had were that there was a black man in the neighborhood with a hoodie on. Yes, he had his hoodie up, BUT IT WAS RAINING. If it wasn't a race issue, then what was there to make him think Trayvon was "the type of person that fits the description of someone who would assault someone" OTHER than his skin color?



We also know that Trayvon ran when his girlfriend told him to run -- that doesn't exactly make him sound like the aggressor in the situation either. It certainly sounds like he was trying to get away.

JL - posted on 03/20/2012

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It's sick. The 17 states that have stand your ground laws have some of the highest murder rates from shootings with legally owned guns, but Hey what do you expect when right now some of our politicians are spouting and trying to institutionalize the cultural standard.....GUNS GOOD, BIRTH CONTROL BAD. Someone build me a TARDIS so I can jump to a future where we are not regressing but rather progressing.

Jennifer - posted on 04/14/2012

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Laura, you're a cop, all alone, at a lake that has problems with drunk parties, just checking things out. All of a sudden a really big tall guy comes running at you?? That wouldn't scare you? He said he assumed my brother was drunk at first, cause he was pretty clumsy, but once he actually started yelling, it was clear he was just a kid. My point was, there are big kids out there, and they don't have the sense God gave a rock. They do stupid stuff! BUT, like the cop that had a run in with my brother, an adult carrying a gun is suppose to have enough self control to evaluate the situation and use some sense. That cop was BACKING AWAY, not chasing my brother! He was also yelling at my brother to stay back, stop running, identify yourself- he gave the benefit of the doubt, and let the 'suspect' have a chance. What would have happened if instead of acting sneaky, Zimmerman would have yelled at Trayvon, "hey, I'm neighbor hood watch, you live around here?" No one knows, because the gun packing adult didn't act anymore on the level than his target, probably a lot less.

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Karla - posted on 04/14/2012

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Jennifer, " I may have kept the person in sight while I waited for the cops, but the only thing that makes sence to me is that Zimmermen had the hero complex. I will wait to see what the jury decides, but for now, in my mind Zimmerman is guilty, maybe not of racial hate, but he murdered that kid."

That's what I think as well. The only evidence that it was a racial-hate issue was when it sounded like Zimmerman said "fucking coon." Given that audio, I'm not sure it wasn't racial hate.

I do agree that Zimmerman had the hero complex though; and people from the Neighborhood Watch program said he acted out of the realm of their recommendations, he was much too aggressive for a neighborhood watchman.

Isobel - posted on 04/14/2012

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yeah, a) I on't think anyboy looks overly big an scary while they're walking away from you, an b) why did that policeman pull a gun on your brother? for being big?

Jennifer - posted on 04/14/2012

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So, I'm not sure how tall Trayvon was, but here is my two cents- My 15 year old son is 6'3". In the day time, you can tell he's a kid. After dark, wearing a baggy hoody, he looks large and pretty freakin scary!! My brother is now 6'8", at 14 he was well over 6'. He was at the lake one time and a cop drew a gun on him. It was getting dark, my brother was looking for the rest of us, saw the cop, and like any well trained kid, started running towards him to get some help!! We laugh about it now, but that was scary! If that cop had been overzealous, my brother would be dead. As it was the cop was backing away, and was trying to get in his car.



I keep trying to put myself in Zimmerman's place, and try to see why. It is not working for me. I would NOT approach someone that way, and I'm a very bold person. I may have kept the person in sight while I waited for the cops, but the only thing that makes sence to me is that Zimmermen had the hero complex. I will wait to see what the jury decides, but for now, in my mind Zimmerman is guilty, maybe not of racial hate, but he murdered that kid.

[deleted account]

Um I've never been pleased with gun control laws but this isn't a law I would have ever supported.

Karla - posted on 04/14/2012

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Janice:
I think you make a great point. If Trayvon was alive today, would he also be claiming self-defense and use the "Stand Your Ground" law? Should that law apply to anyone in pursuit, or fleeing?

Vicki - posted on 04/13/2012

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This case is another reason why I'm happy to be living in a country with strict gun laws.

Isobel - posted on 04/13/2012

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wasn't he like 140 pounds? that's not big...Zimmerman dwarfed him...and yeah, 17 is a KID! I listened to him stalking him on tape. and even Zimmerman isn't claiming he didn't aim and fire at Trayvon.



I appreciate you playing devil's advocate and livening things up around here though...it gets boring when everybody agrees ;P

Payola - posted on 04/13/2012

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Laura -- "He got out of his car and stalked and killed an unarmed KID for wearing a hoodie."



A very tall and strong KID. Stalking? This doesn't fit the definition of stalking. And when has he ever said he shot him for wearing a hoodie? I could make anything up too. I could say he shot him because he was black. He shot him because he was tall. He shot him because he hates skittles. He shot him because..........



The word accident doesn't need to be clarified. The definition is quite simple.



Homocide doesn't always equal murder. There are several crimes that relate to homocide. One's behavior and intent are what differentiates the crimes from each other. I could make a case for why it should be involuntary manslaughter. Maybe Zimmerman just fired a warning shot but accidently shot Travyon. I could also make a case that it was purely self defense (even if it was all caused by his stupid decision to follow Trayvon). What if during the struggle Trayvon said I'm going to kill you and Zimmerman thought he was reaching for a weapon? We weren't there and there's no way of proving any of this. It's all going to come down to Zimmerman's credibility, people's emotions, and how the defense presents their story.



I think he was being too aggressive and and didn't think the whole thing through before pursuing him. If you are carrying a lethal weapon, you need to choose your actions carefully because they can lead to situations where people freak out and react impulsively and do stupid things out of fear like shoot somebody. I think Zimmerman should be punished for at least something, that's all I"m saying.

Isobel - posted on 04/13/2012

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I certainly hope you are joking. The crime is murder. period. He got out of his car and stalked and killed an unarmed KID for wearing a hoodie. Bad judgement that ends up with somebody dead has a name... MURDER 2.



and his mother didn't recant her statement, she clarified it.

Payola - posted on 04/13/2012

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It's really difficult to make sense out of what happened. It could've gone down several ways. Like Rebecca K said, we will never hear Trayvon's side of the story because he is dead.



It looks like Zimmerman was the overzealous neighborhood watchman who used terrible judgement and Trayvon thought he should defend himself and got shot in the process because the fight confirmed in Zimmerman's mind that he was a criminal and Zimmerman panicked. So if that's the case then it looks like a tragic accident, and that's what Trayvon's mother said the other day (then recanted her statement).



As much as a lot of people are angry with Zimmerman for profiling Trayvon and using bad judgement, it's not a reason to convict him of murder. What matters is why he ultimately pulled the trigger. The more I think about it the more the "stand your ground law" doesn't even apply. Maybe they should make a crime called "careless judgement and behavior while in possession of a deadly weapon".

Johnny - posted on 04/13/2012

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I've been wondering that too Janice. I suppose the Stand Your Ground law only applies to the survivor. The whole law is so twisted and dangerous.

Payola - posted on 04/12/2012

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The shooter was hispanic. The "kid" was 17 and he was very tall and strong. The shooter was assaulted by the victim simply because he was offended for being questioned and approached (there were 10+ breakins form thieves matching the victim's description). Who's to say the "kid" didn't threaten to kill the shooter during the assault and the shooter actually felt he might be pummeled to death with bare hands or a concealed weapon? People don't think too logically when they're being attacked by a stranger, especially when they're bigger and are dressed like a thug.



The victim was not "beautiful" in character. He previously assaulted a bus driver and bragged about it on Twitter. He also dressed like a gangster, smoked pot and brought it to school, and made violent remarks on Twitter in general.

I'm not saying he deserved to die. This type of person fits the description of somebody who would assault somebody for being questioned if he was annoyed enough. So it gives the shooter's story a little credibility.



I agree though it is sad. There was no need for the 17 year old to die. Guns are dangerous. Put them in the hands of people who don't use common sense and who overreact to anger and fear, and you get a tragedy like this.



I can only speculate as to why the trigger was pulled and what the intentions of the shooter were. But it looks like he used poor judgement and was careless with a lethal weapon.



This is not a race issue though. I"m not sure why the words "white man" and "black kid" have anything to do with it. There is no record of the shooter saying, "I hate N*****s and I'm gonna go kill me one today".



I'm not saying the shooter is innocent. I'm just saying I don't think it's fair to pass such harsh judgment on the situation when we don't know all the facts. I think the truth of the struggle leading up to the murder will be revealed more during the trial. I read he was arrested today and charged with 2nd degree murder.

Stifler's - posted on 03/20/2012

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I think Aus is the same MeMe you can't just walk around with weapons like a knife in your pocket etc.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/20/2012

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Although in Canada, if your firearm is not registered and you use it when in direct lines of threat, you will be charged for having an unauthorized firearm up to 5 years in prison and at minimum 4 years of using an illegally possessed firearm to wound the attacker. You also cannot walk around with any type of weapon. It must be in your home.



I think it is crazy that places like Florida have such weak laws on firearms.



This story is way too sad.

Isobel - posted on 03/20/2012

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It's so bizarre to me partly because Canada is the exact opposite, if an intruder is in your home, you have a legal obligation to warn the intruder about any hidden dangers in your home unless he is posing a "direct" threat to your life, and by direct threat I mean "he has a gun pointed at your head or a knife to your throat"

Stifler's - posted on 03/20/2012

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I do not think people should be allowed to shoot anyone, ever. Unless their life is seriously being threatened without a doubt. AKA not if someone is walking down the street with skittles. I also do not think you should be allowed to walk around with a gun on your person or have a gun in your car for no reason or "to defend yourself".

Karla - posted on 03/19/2012

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I heard the story on NPR yesterday (and had been following it already.) The played some of the 911 call and the shooter was following the kid and the dispatcher said "We don't need you to do that." In my eyes, that alone shows the shooter was the aggressor, he should NOT have followed the kid.



I know the police need their proof as to whether or not it was self-defense (as the shooter said it was) but I don't understand why him following the kid is not seen as aggressive.

Isobel - posted on 03/19/2012

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and Becky...apparently you should send that message to Florida, cause they don't agree

Isobel - posted on 03/19/2012

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Hey Pearl, if you ever head to Florida...feel free to shoot any damn person you don't like the look of... just make sure you call the cops first and tell them that somebody creepy is near you :/

Becky - posted on 03/19/2012

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If the person you shoot is not armed or actively attacking you, it is not self-defense. This is absolutely revolting. I think perhaps I'm with Johnny and have just changed my mind about some day going to Disney World.

Johnny - posted on 03/19/2012

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I think it's a good thing that I'm a small little white woman just in case I ever have to go to Florida for something. I won't be doing it by choice though. It's on my list of states where I will not travel because I think they're evil. This sort of legislation is one of the reasons.

Mrs. - posted on 03/19/2012

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Okay, what are Florida's gun laws then?



Is there a link on the Stand Your Ground law?

Isobel - posted on 03/19/2012

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and this guy got OUT of his car and FOLLOWED the child and is now getting away with claiming self defense and getting away with it...it bothers me on too many levels.

[deleted account]

pretty sure it's a post about gun laws.



i think guns should be a lot more restricted than they are. i certainly think you should have to have a license to purchase them. i think you do where i live, but there are a lot of pawn shops around here that sell them and i couldn't say for sure that they care much about running your license...



the way i was taught when i was growing up, if someone is on your property and threatens you with bodily harm, refuses to leave the premises, or physically attacks you, you have the right to shoot to defend yourself. i do NOT agree with having a gun on you as the first defense when outside your home. there are such defenses as pepper spray and mace and hell, clubs and knives. i usually have a pocket knife with me or i would use my keys. even policemen are supposed to be taught to never fire their gun unless absolutely necessary. you call for help, then overpower the attacker or retreat, whichever would be in your best interest or would be better in the long run. you don't just up and shoot somebody! what happened to all the pro-lifers, lol?

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